LaLiga has been requested to ensure free-to-air (FTA) broadcasters can participate in media rights tenders by the Spanish competition regulator, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC).

The Spanish top-flight football league is preparing to take some broadcasting packages to tender from the 2024-25 season, and has been urged by the CNMC to ensure any rights contests meet ‘the standards of transparency, competition and non-discrimination’.

LaLiga is one of the most valuable and widely watched football leagues in Europe and worldwide, alongside the Premier League, German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A.

Domestic rights to the league have been held by DAZN since 2022, after a rights agreement was clinched in a major boost to the OTT platform’s standing as a sports streaming service, building on its acquisition of Serie A domestic rights in Italy.

Internationally, LaLiga is broadcast by Sky Sports in a number of Latin American markets such as Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, although ESPN is the biggest distributor in the region with coverage in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

However, these agreements are all with pay-TV or subscription-based OTT platforms. Although FTA sports network GOL does hold some domestic rights, these are due to expire following the 2024/25 season.

As well as encouraging the league to ensure there are ‘unjustified restrictions’ and that FTA broadcasters are included in forthcoming tenders, the CNMC has made several other requests to the top-flight.

The league has been asked to use objective and evaluable criteria to assess bidders, to define the content of offered rights ‘in a clear and precise way’, to not include restrictions linked to advertising and to stick to the joint marketing of audiovisual rights.

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